More than a ton of expired and unused prescription drugs was collected by the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office and partner agencies last year.
The Sheriff’s Office has been collecting medications for six years. The 2016 total was 1,910 pounds at the Sheriff’s Office alone.
The Thurston County Health Department says on its website: Old medications should not be left in unsecured medicine cabinets and are not safe to dump in the trash or down the drain. Accidental poisonings and intentional misuse of medications is a serious problem.
Directions for disposal include addresses of law enforcement agencies that collect them, and as a last resort, directions on how to safely dispose of medications in the trash.
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Placing medicines in the trash or flushing them down the drain may seem like the easy answer, but medicine in unsecured trash bins can be stolen, and wastewater treatment plants do not effectively remove the drugs from our environment. As a result, measurable amounts of drugs end up in Puget Sound, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Misused prescription drugs are now the illicit drug of choice among 12- and 13-year-olds. Sixty percent of teens say prescription drugs are easy to get from parents’ medicine cabinets.
Medications can be dropped off at:
▪ Thurston County Sheriff’s Office: 360-867-2664, 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Building 3, Olympia.
▪ Tenino Police Department: 360-264-2626, 358 McClellan St. S.
▪ Lacey Police Department: 360-459-4333, 420 College St. SE.
▪ Tumwater Police Department: 360-754-4200, 555 Israel Road.
▪ Rainier City Hall: 360-446-2265, 102 Rochester St. W.
▪ Yelm Police Department: 360-458-5701, 206 McKenzie Ave. SE.